Sunday, April 26th, 2009 at 8:43 pm

Better on the Outside: Fantasia Noodle House

“Elusive” is the word that best describes Fantasia Noodle House. The charming red door and cheery blue window and awning beckoned me to visit, but only open from 11am-2pm on weekdays, its limited hours and closed sign taunted me.

Exterior

Finally, on a day where I was nearby for a daylong training session, I was able to make it through the open doors. I managed to snag the last table, a two-seater near the kitchen at the rear of the restaurant. Fantasia was absolutely buzzing, with a crowd that looked to me like mostly regulars. I glanced at the menu briefly, which contained a mix of the usual suspects of Westernized Chinese rice and noodle dishes, along with some Vietnamese favourites, including vermicelli bowls. Although the small voice in my head pushed me towards the day’s special (a vermicelli bowl with grilled chicken, spring roll and soup), as soon as I saw the words “beef noodle soup” ($7), I knew that’s what I wanted.

I was given a small pot of tea, which was a great accompaniment to the book I had brought along, particularly when my food hadn’t arrived at the twenty minute mark. When my pho was finally delivered, I counted myself lucky, as the pair next to me had to wait around thirty five minutes for their food.

Beef Noodle Soup

I have to say I was disappointed with my dish – the raggedy shards of beef were not bad, but what I had hoped would be a flavourful soup base was unfortunately bland. Though I knew what I was getting into – pho isn’t Fantasia’s specialty – it was definitely a below average meal.

Because I’m not in the neighbourhood often enough to make the trek to Fantasia to catch their limited hours, I can’t say I’ll be back. But based on my sub-par experience, I’m not sure it’d be worth the effort anyway.

Fantasia Noodle House
10518 Jasper Avenue
(780) 428-0943
Monday-Friday 11am-2pm

  • http://www.mynameispaula.com Paula

    Whether it is their specialty or not, you shouldn’t have to wait a half hour for a bowl of pho. Thanks for the warning – if I do manage to get here during their hours I know I won’t order that.

  • Simon

    I’ve worked around the corner from Fantasia for 4 years and have been there twice. Doan’s downtown location, only a block away, is my pho purveyor of choice.

  • http://eatingisthehardpart.blogspot.com chris

    What a wait long time. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by Tau Bay over the years, but I’m used to getting my pho even before my lemon coke arrives! I love speedy soup.

  • Matt

    I worked just next door to Fantasia. Quite dissapointing. There were little or no vegetables in my noodle bowl and quite honestly from the spring rolls down to the soup I also ordered was lacklustre. Not really worth a second chance. Doan’s is not too bad of a place, but in my opinion, Golden Bird in Chinatown (10544 97 Street NW)
    is one of Edmonton’s best. Try the 5 star plate. you won’t be dissapointed!

  • Jay

    Doan’s will never be a favourite of mine, they use far to much green and red pepper, not to mention celery for my taste. If I have to choose a Vietnamese resturant it would be Thanh Thanh on 101St. if I’m not worried about the wait time to be seated, or Thanh Son on 107Ave.

    I used to work a block from Fantasia, and while I have to admit that service has never been a strong point there, I miss the vermicelli bowls and iced coffee. I haven’t had better in a long time, it may be simple food, but they do it well.

  • Evan

    I have worked down the block from Fantasia for seven years now and I have honestly never found their food to be better than below average; particularly for what you pay. Regarding pho, everyone seems to have their favorite place but for me I stand by Noodle King (10613 97 Street ). I have tried a lot of places in Edmonton and their broth is the best.

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